Learn about nitrogen dioxide indoors, its sources and health risks. Also find out how you can limit your exposure.
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What is nitrogen dioxide?
Nitrogen dioxide is a gas that may be harmful to your health and the environment.
The main source of nitrogen dioxide in homes includes gas appliances, such as:
- gas stoves
- water heaters
Nitrogen dioxide can also enter your home from outdoor sources, such as:
- an idling car in an attached garage
- traffic from a nearby roadway
Cigarette smoke also contains nitrogen dioxide.
What are the health risks?
Nitrogen dioxide can decrease your lung function and make asthma worse. Long-term exposure to low levels of nitrogen dioxide can increase your risk of developing breathing problems, such as:
People who may be more sensitive to nitrogen dioxide include those with:
How can Canadians limit their exposure to nitrogen dioxide?
You can limit your exposure to nitrogen oxide in your home by following the tips below.
- Make sure that gas stoves have a range hood fan that vents to the outside. This is important to use while cooking.
- Cook on the back burner of your gas stove. This helps direct nitrogen dioxide and other gasses to the exhaust fan.
- Maintain fuel-burning appliances. Have them inspected by a qualified professional at least once a year. This is especially important for gas appliances because leaks are difficult to detect.
- Make sure sources of nitrogen dioxide are vented to the outside. This includes:
- gas stoves
- other gas appliances
- Avoid idling cars or other gas-burning equipment in enclosed spaces, like an attached garage.
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